Economic Uncertainty: Why You Have to Double Down on Talent Development

CHRO Council

August 31, 2022 - West


Ibrahim Jackson Ubiquitous Preferred Services
Ibrahim Jackson


Ubiquitous Preferred Services

Council Speaker

Ibrahim works with technology, human resource, and other business leaders to develop, upskill, and retool teams of people for next practice leadership in a changing world of work. By providing workshops, coaching, and consulting, with a team of industry experienced professionals, to large-scale enterprises and government agencies, employees are prepared for future opportunities today. Our underpinning Digital Professional Framework governs our people transformation programs with a focus on four key areas: 1. Digital Depth 📱 2. Business Acumen 📊 3. Interpersonal Skills 🤝 4. Social Impact 🌎 Whether transformation, modernization, evolution, or restructuring, all of these changes have a basis for moving the organization forward. Leaders are trusted and relied upon to bring sustainable change to successful completion using competence, appropriate practices, skills, behaviors, and mental models to galvanize people and achieve sustainable change, continuous improvement, and make the most significant impact, so their organization realizes optimal value. TRAINING Our focus on digital and leadership attracts technology leaders and human resource executives working on developing people that need to be ready to lead in an era of emerging technology and where business models are expanding and evolving. We provide standard training, bespoke modules customized to the needs of the organization, modules tailored to the specific business objectives of the organization, and on-demand modules. Our learning journeys are immersive, experiential, and applicable to the particular business challenges our clients have. COACHING While many challenges and opportunities across organizations may be similar, their specific context, focus area, and goals are often unique. Having a coach or executive coach that can be an extension of your brain trust often leads to better decision making, improved results, and career elevation. We use a variety of coaching and group coaching models that help our clients excel at the aforementioned. CONSULTING By pairing our client's institutional knowledge with our broad range of expertise from across many industries, we help leaders tackle today's problems so that they achieve a competitive advantage on their journey towards making a material difference in their business. We perform simple to complex assessments, primary and secondary research, and strategy development where and when needed. When working with us, we own your problem, allowing you to capitalize on the solution's rewards.

Lin Burton US Department of Justice
Lin Burton


US Department of Justice

Council Speaker

Lin Burton, Ed.S, has been a learning professional since 1980. During her years of service with the federal government, George Washington University, in local government and private industry, she has served as the Chief Learning Officer for Federal Prison Industries, Associate Professor in the George Washington University Graduate School of Education & Human Development, School Administrator in Alexandria City Public Schools, NSTEP National Training Program Coordinator for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and teacher/professor in both public and private settings. Lin possesses strength in working with individuals' diverse learning needs/strengths and excels in defining blended resources and developing specialized techniques. She effectively uses technology and alternative resources to reach participants thus developing timely and cost effective best practices. Her research has focused on policy impacts of comprehensive school models designed with multi-agency service delivery on site. In practice, Lin uses 30-minute conversations with managers and leaders when designing training programs. And has written, instructed and facilitated on topics including: Speed of Trust, Effective presenting, Building an Enterprise-Wide Vision for Training, Creative Strategies for a Positive Learning Environment, Learning Styles, Technology use in Conference Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Education Law, Interagency Transition Models, Group Facilitation Skills for Effective Group Processes, LSS Process Mapping/ Root Cause Analysis, and Coaching. Specialties Learning Technology, Staff Development, Individuals with Disabilities, Executive Management Development, Lean Six Sigma Basics, Speed of Trust Facilitator

Adele Cook Arizona Department of Economic Security
Adele Cook

Chief Learning Officer

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Council Speaker

Adele Cook is a learning leader with more than 25 years’ experience in both the private and public sector. For the past 20 years, she has worked for the citizens of Arizona with the Maricopa County, the Arizona Department of Administration, and Arizona Department of Economic Security. She oversees a team of 140 learning professionals who provide more than 550 learning products to the more than 8500 employees of the State’s social safety net. The training and other development provided covers leadership, job-readiness, onboarding, and compliance training, as well as self-directed professional development intended to allow employees to reach their own goals, not just the organization’s goals. Over the years, Adele has found her unique value in turning around underperforming organizations, and continuing the drive to the next level: driving engagement, improving processes, quality and timeliness, and driving overall organizational change through training. The mission of her unit says it all: changing lives through learning experiences. She is proud to be a part of the learning industry: enabling learning is a noble pursuit, and when it is done to support the vulnerable, it becomes a noble calling.

Wendy Endress Washington Department of Enterprise Services
Wendy Endress

Chief Learning Officer

Washington Department of Enterprise Services

Council Speaker

As Chief Learning Officer, I work with the Workforce Learning & Performance team which provides business-connected learning solutions for State of Washington employees as well as other public employers. I work closely with State HR and agency stakeholders to influence learning, development and culture changing policies and services, in order to strengthen the business of government as well as cultivate satisfied customers, satisfied teams and financial health. I bring experience in promoting practices that support individual and collective success. Naturally empathic and adept at recognizing talents in others, I am passionate about building the capacity of people and teams to contribute at the highest level. My management style is founded in keen observation and careful listening with an eye to strategic planning, decision making, and policy development to advance aspirations. I am inspired when colleagues engage with each other to have candid, courageous conversations. Committed to transparent collaboration, I do my homework, connect the dots, and partner across functional areas to implement proven and promising solutions. I have held positions at The Evergreen State College and Portland State University; and have over 15 years of experience in senior administrative roles and with responsibility for up to 170 FTE, over 15 departments, and budgets of more than $15 million. I have worked collaboratively to improve support for underrepresented members of the college community and to foster change and a more inclusive, welcoming campus. I began my career at Columbia University and have served in positions of increasing responsibility at Bluffton University, University of Maryland, and Semester at Sea. In 2019 I was recognized as a Pillar of the Profession by NASPA. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, a Master of Arts from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and a Bachelor of Arts from Union College in New York. In 2014 I completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. I take to heart the advice of a beloved mentor who instilled the philosophy, “it’s all about relationships.”

Sonali Damle Innovaccer
Sonali Damle

Chief People Officer


Council Speaker

Sonali Y. Damle is the Chief People Officer at Innovaccer and an international business leader with extensive experience in building and leading new business ventures and high-growth global organizations. She likes to think of herself as a “dreamer and doer” with a deep interest in understanding the unmet customer need and developing “the mechanism” that catalyzes hyperscaling organizations. Her expertise lies in translating ideas into scalable, highly resilient businesses that successfully navigate and operate in dynamic, fast-paced global economies. She is passionate about building sustainable organizations by developing a depth of talent and inspiring leadership to lead both the financial and non-financial goals of dynamic high-growth organizations. As the CPO of Innovaccer, Sonali plays a crucial role in supporting Innovaccer’s rapid growth and is responsible for overseeing the company’s people strategy. Before earning her MBA in Finance at Wharton, Sonali founded her first startup in New York, early in 2000’s, which focused on geospatial mapping of survey and aerial photography data to inform construction at major infrastructure hubs such as ports. Outside of work, her interest lies in mentorship and expanding worldviews through conversation and curiosity. She enjoys exploring new places with her family through history, art, music, and food.

Melissa Bonner Prime Trust
Melissa Bonner


Prime Trust

Council Speaker

Melissa Bonner serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer at Prime Trust. Prime Trust provides tech-driven financial infrastructure to Fin Tech innovators by being the rails for many banks, financial institutions, exchanges, and Fin Tech firms. Melissa has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources and 14 years within the banking industry. Prior to joining Prime Trust, Melissa served as the Human Resources Manager for Slater Hanifan Group, a Las Vegas engineering firm now known as Westwood. During her tenure with Slater Hanifan Group, her primary role was to establish the Human Resources department and plan, lead, develop, and coordinate policies, activities, and ensuring legal compliance and implementation of the organization’s mission and overall business plan. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management from University of Phoenix, and a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University.

August 31, 2022

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Economic Uncertainty: Why You Have to Double Down on Talent Development

Throughout the times, Macroeconomic uncertainty can, and has often had a devastating effect on the workforce. The impact of uncertainty on the economy was most recently illustrated in the context of the pandemic and the subsequent boom when the economy opened up. Whether we call it a downturn or a correction, people and businesses are strife with uncertainty now.

During change and uncertainty, one of the key (potential) areas of impact for companies is their talent base. Regardless of whether there will be a downturn or not, smart companies are investing in learning & development as they are faced with the simple fact that workers with higher job insecurity have poorer psychological and physical health, display more negative work attitudes and are less satisfied with their life, ultimately leading to a lack of productivity all around. However, companies that actively demonstrate care and investment in their employees professional growth and careers paths - are seeing demonstrable improvements in business outcomes.

Now more than ever, companies should double down on employee professional development, and consider strategies and initiatives that support and drive employee retention, professional growth, team development, leadership training, change management and much more. How can L&D and HR executives overcome these challenges, when many of their leaders have never experienced an economic downturn before?

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